Volume 80, Issue 2 (2018), pp. 23–41
Government organization and activities in a democratic state must be based on the principle of separation of powers. The essence of this principle is to ensure individual rights and freedoms and to help the society prevent government arbitrariness. Each power is implemented through its institutions: Parliament, representing the Nation, legislate the laws and perform other functions provided in the Constitution, the Government implement the laws legislated by Parliament and courts execute justice. If the state does not ensure the implementation of justice, all the talk of democracy, the rule of law, civil society, human rights and freedoms are declarative. Only being independent and autonomous judicial authorities can properly fulfill their function – to execute justice, to ensure implementation of law, expressed in the Constitution, laws and other legal norms, to guarantee the rule of law, to protect human rights and freedoms. Inevitably, the question must be raised whether the courts executing justice ensure these constitutional principles good enough and whether the citizen applying to the court to protect his violated rights can be sure that the court will resolve the dispute impartially and restore his violated rights. Authors of the article examine such an important topic as confidence in the courts, discuss the possible ways and means to achieve that the state government would be more trusted. In the article authors raise a question whether it would be effective to establish associate judges’ institute in Lithuania. The authors conclude that Lithuania is one of the few democratic countries having no jury or associate judges institution and that its establishment would help reduce corruption in the legal system. Also it would be a step to increase public confidence in the judiciary. The main conclusion is that discussions about moderate model of associate judges’ institution shall be encouraged. The authors believe that such a concept model would not form intervention in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 1992 and legal framework, but would complement the practice and the commitment to strengthen the relation between the public authorities and society, which is expressed in the Constitution. The model of such aspiration development really makes sense and would be very necessary.